IT services can include cybersecurity, backups, and disaster recovery planning. Outsourcing your IT services can help you gain access to the help you need while maintaining your budget. Your IT services provider is important to your business, as they have access to your data and specialize in keeping a business’s information safe. This is everything you need to know about finding the best IT provider for your small business.
Why Outsource IT Services?
As a small business, you likely have enough to focus on without trying to manage all the complicated aspects of information technology. Outsourcing IT services can help you keep to your budget and focus on what’s important when it comes to running your company. These are some reasons to outsource IT services:
- You have an IT emergency, such as being unable to send or receive emails.
- The business doesn’t have the space or need for an IT team.
- A dedicated IT team can help identify issues before they affect your business.
Potential IT Provider Services
When you’re assessing different IT providers, it’s important to understand what their packages include. Many providers claim to offer an all-inclusive product, but they leave out some important services. By understanding the different IT services available to you, you can ensure that the provider you choose offers the help you need. These are some services IT teams may offer:
When an IT provider offers on-call support, it means they offer fast and effective assistance for any IT issue. This may include a server crash or computer problem, and it often means a provider can assist over the phone or visit the site to fix the problem. When you’re assessing different providers, consider whether they offer on-call support and what it includes.
For example, a provider may ensure a resolution within 24 hours or a response within two hours. If you feel more comfortable having an IT specialist present to fix potential computer issues, consider whether the IT services package includes on-site support. If your small business operates on weekends or at night, it’s important to determine if the IT provider covers on-site resolution of problems during those times.
Cloud integration is the process of transferring stored data to the cloud, which means storing and backing up information on a remote server. This offsite storage can be helpful because it allows you to access the data from anywhere and keeps the data safe in the event of a hard drive malfunction.
When an IT service provider offers cloud integration services, this means they can help you transfer and back up your data. Many IT service packages include routine backups to help you keep your data up to date and protected. Prices may vary depending on the scope and frequency of the data backups, so it can be helpful to determine which level is most appropriate for your business before buying.
When IT providers offer cybersecurity services, it means they help you keep your network, devices, and information safe from potential cyberattacks. When you store information on computers or servers, there may be the risk of a digital attack to steal data or information about your clients or business. IT providers can put systems in place that defend against attacks and keep information safe.
To keep your small business’s network safe, many IT providers offer cybersecurity training for team members. Educating employees about safe internet practices and how to identify the indicators of spam or a cyberattack can help you keep your network secure and avoid data breaches. When considering IT service providers, check if they offer employee education as part of their cybersecurity package.
How To Find the Right IT Provider
Depending on where you’re located, you may have many IT service providers to choose from. Selecting the right one can help you optimize your budget and get the most from your IT spending. Some IT providers may also provide a higher caliber of customer support than others, so looking at reviews can help you ensure you’re choosing the provider with the best customer care. These are some steps you can follow to find the right IT provider for your small business:
1. Gather Referrals
If you have friends or business associates who run small businesses and outsource their IT services, consider talking to them about which providers they use. Have conversations about IT providers to learn more about how they respond to issues and what their client support is like. Gathering referrals can help you optimize the process and avoid providers who don’t offer the best customer service. When making your list of providers, consider your own IT goals and needs.
2. Assess Businesses
After making a list of potential IT providers to use, you can assess each one individually. Consider the size of each IT provider and how much experience the team members have. You may also look at how long each company has been providing IT services, as newer companies may not have as many resources with which to support your business. Assess how each provider approaches IT issues and whether their processes align with your goals.
3. Ask the Right Questions
Speaking with a representative from an IT provider can help you learn more about the company, their services, and how they interact with their clients. Make a list of questions to ask during your conversation that can help you determine if they’re the best provider for you. These are some questions you can ask potential IT service providers:
- What do you include in the cost of this package?
- Do you work with the technologies I already have in place?
- How do you ensure passwords are secure?
- What is your process for educating team members?
4. Request Reviews
You can ask to speak with recent clients from each IT provider to learn about their experiences. This can help you gain a more detailed view of how the provider treats customers. When requesting reviews, try to consider those within your industry, as they may most accurately match your needs.
5. Compare Prices
Considering your budget can help you choose the IT provider that’s right for you. Compare the packages and prices from each provider to determine which offers you the best value. You can also speak with representatives to learn about potential discounts to reduce package prices.
Outsourcing your IT services can help you save time, optimize your technology, and better serve your clients. To learn more about our stellar IT service options, don’t hesitate to contact one of our dedicated team members today.